In today’s marketplace, it’s hard to pick out the best fishing kayak fit for you. Your decision will be based on your budget, type of kayak, kayak accessories to compliment your kayak, quality and brand of kayak you want. That said, there is no better way to becoming a good kayak angler than spending a lot of time of water. However, sometimes having someone point you in the right direction makes it a lot easier.
1. Do your research
Where do I start? I’d suggest Googling or looking at kayak fishing groups on any of the social media platforms such as Facebook, Google+ etc. You can also visit kayak fishing down under forums or simply search for fishing forums.
Another way is to go and visit a few kayak stores and ask a lot of questions. You have to have a long and hard think about what you want out of your kayak. If your first kayak doesn’t meet your requirements, you’ll end spending more money replacing the kayak sooner than necessary.
2. Try before you buy
Before buying your kayak, see if you can try before you buy – that is, get a friend’s kayak and take it for a few test drives. Another way is to attend a demo day at the local paddle sports retailer or even hire the kayak model you are looking to purchase. Get out, test it, think about features you like or don’t like and then it’ll be a hell of a lot easier to find the right yak for you. Remember – just because your friends have a cool or popular model kayak, doesn’t mean it’ll be perfect for you!
3. Find a fishing mate or a group of mates
Sometimes fishing by yourself gets lonely and awfully boring, so having a fishing buddy or group of mates can make it a lot more exciting. It will allow you to cover more water, be more competitive and learn off each other. But best of all there is safety in numbers and you will also have a buddy to take pics of all your awesome catches!
Safety is often neglected and left behind. With a growing number of incidents, we strongly encourage people to be safe of water. A few safety tips to keep in mind are:
· Always wear your PFD no matter how skinny or deep the water is
· Take plenty of water on your trips
· Always apply sun cream on your day trips
5. Know your limits
Even the most experienced anglers can get in trouble on the water, and frequently the most problematic thing is water conditions. How you handle water conditions can be influenced by your health, fitness level and of course weather conditions. It is very important to get to know your kayak and know your physical limits. Before you head out, it is highly recommended that you spend some time in the shallows to get to know what you’re capable of. These include jumping in and out of your kayak while in water, trying to climb up back into the kayak without anyone’s help and generally getting the feel for your kayak.
It’s important not to panic and stay calm in all situations, as one bad experience can ruin it for you, but you always have to find the bright side, as kayak fishing is super exciting.
6. Study your spots
Every angler has his “secret spot”, so it’s time to find yours too! Decide on what species you’d like to target, Google near areas that are stocking your target fish, and finally use Google Maps to find easy access to that area. It’s that simple to start your new adventure!
7. Prepare night before
You’ll find that most of your kayak buddies want to get up really, really early, and if you are one of those blokes that can’t go to sleep early, I suggest you get ready for some hang over days! Getting ready the night before can make things so much smoother for a new angler. Being ready means you have only one thing on your mind – that’s catching the fish and not having to worry about getting your rods and accessories ready on the water. So the most vital things to bring are your kayak, paddle, seat, rod holder and then some food, water, suncream and your fishing gear!
8. Enjoy your trip
Whether you catch fish or catch nothing on the day, it’s really important to take your time and enjoy it. Kayak fishing can be challenging at times and very, very slow. It might take you a few trips to find that perfect spot or to catch your target fish, but trust me, it’s worth the wait! So being patient on water is very important as you’ll be less frustrated on the day J. Take time to enjoy the scenery, sounds and always remember, it’s better than working!
9. Respect fishing and the fish
It is very important to learn sizes and possession limits of all fish. The best way to do that is to head over to your State Government’s website and explore fishing limits. At Freak Sports, we are big believers in regulation and sports fishing, so we strongly encourage you to “catch and release” after an awesome selfie!
10. Learn and improve on your spots
The more time you spend in one area, the better you’ll get to know it. You’ll really learn the depths, shallows, snags and ledges. You’ll learn whether you’ll anchor up or drift, cast from close or far, and even work out what time of day is the most successful. So take the time to figure out an area, as it will help you out what to do in the next area :).
We’ve also put together a great kayak fishing gear guide to help you be prepared on the water. Check it out here.